Adrienne Lawrence, a former on-air host at ESPN, is accusing a number of her former co-workers of sexual harassment and inappropriate behavior – and she has pictures she says prove her claim.
Lawrence worked at the network until last year, when she claims she was fired for complaining about her treatment. In a lawsuit filed this weekend, Lawrence claims to have pictures and texts that prove a colleague subjected her to sexist treatment.
She specifically names John Bucigross as responsible for most of the treatment, and even provided a picture of him shirtless that he sent to her (included below). However, she also names Chris Berman as acting inappropriately. A Boston Globe story about Lawrence’s lawsuit also named Matthew Berry for his behavior.
Lawrence, who worked as an anchor and a legal analyst, claims the company did not address complaints for incidents dating back to 2015.
She specifically names ‘SportsCenter’ host John Bucigross, alleging that he called her ‘dollface’, ‘#dreamgirl’, and ‘#longlegs’ in text messages sent in 2016 along with unsolicited shirtless photos, reported the Boston Globe in December.
‘ESPN is, and always has been, a company rife with misogyny,’ the first line of the complaint reads, according to the Connecticut Law Tribune.
The suit alleges that male executives and talent at ESPN ‘keep scoreboards naming female colleagues they are targeting for sex’.
It also alleges that men openly watch porn on their computers and have made comments in Lawrence’s presence like wondering what Rihanna must ‘taste like’.
According to Lawrence, Buccigross made unwanted sexual advances under the guise of mentorship while she attempted to work her way up from the network’s ‘ESPN the Fellowship’ program.
Last summer, Lawrence filed a complaint against ESPN but the new lawsuit, filed on Sunday in Connecticut district court – ESPN’s headquarters are in Bristol, Connecticut – comes an 85-page complaint with even further details.
According to TMZ Sports, Lawrence also noted that ‘SportsCenter’ anchor Chris Berman left a ‘threatening and racially disparaging voicemail’ for coworker Jemele Hill, who writes for ESPN’s website ‘The Undefeated’.
‘In early 2016, ESPN’s “The Undefeated” personality Jemele Hill received a threatening and racially disparaging voicemail from Berman on her ESPN phone line,’ the lawsuit says.
Lawrence claims Hill notified ESPN executive Marcia Keegan – who oversaw Hill’s show, ‘His & Hers’ – but ultimately ‘nothing was done’.
Also accused of inappropriate behavior, not in Lawrence’s lawsuit but in the Globe story from December, is fantasy sports analyst Matthew Berry.
Berry admitted he took former model and sports personality Jenn Sterger to a strip club when they were interviewing at ESPN.
He called the off-site trip ‘was not a smart decision and I regret going’. In regards to a picture he took at the club, in which he points at Sterger’s breasts, Berry has said it is ‘personally embarrassing and I did not mean any offense’.
Lawrence later claims that, regarding her own claims, ESPN’s human resources department ‘colluded with Buccigross to cover up his misconduct’ and that her complaints eventually led to her firing in 2017.
In a statement to the Globe, Bucigross said he considered Lawrence to be a friend, and that he was ‘sorry if anything I did or said offended Adrienne.’
ESPN responded to December’s Globe story by releasing some of the text exchanges between Lawrence and Buccigross.
The company said the pair ‘had a consensual, personal friendship that spanned months,’ and that Lawrence’s allegations were ‘entirely without merit’.
Here is a picture that Buccigross sent to Lawrence in a text exchange that she says proves her claim.
Buccigross has denied any wrongdoing. Jemele Hill issued a statement saying Lawrence’s claim against Berman was untrue, and he never said anything threatening or racist to her.